Forum for Winemaking/Viticulture?

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Forum for Winemaking/Viticulture?

Postby Howie Hart » Thu Jul 27, 2006 12:27 am

A few weeks ago, this topic came up buried in an unrelated thread. Should we have a separate forum for winemaking and viticulture? I don't mean just home winemaking, but winemaking in general, commercial and home, and related subjects, such as grape growing. Some people are only interested in what comes out of the bottle, but some of us are interested in what goes into it and how it got there. In the chat session, Robin indicated he could easily add such a forum, but was reluctant to do so unless he felt there was sufficient interest. How do you feel?
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Re: Forum for Winemaking/Viticulture?

Postby Paul B. » Thu Jul 27, 2006 1:02 am

Howie, I'm really glad you brought it up. Of course it will come as no surprise to you that I would be wholly in favour of such a separate forum, and if it's not too much of a burden to Robin, it would be GREAT to have it added as an extra forum on this site - the Netscape interface is simply not equal in user friendliness to what we have here.

With that, I cast my vote strongly in favour of such an addition and look forward to a renewal of viticultural and enological discussions.
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Re: Forum for Winemaking/Viticulture?

Postby Gary Barlettano » Thu Jul 27, 2006 3:22 am

I couldn't contribute, Howie, but I've love to lurk in such a forum.
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Re: Forum for Winemaking/Viticulture?

Postby Howie Hart » Thu Jul 27, 2006 8:39 am

Gary Barlettano wrote:I couldn't contribute, Howie, but I've love to lurk in such a forum.

Of course you could contribute! Two years ago (on the old WLDG) I had a long thread documenting my home winemaking adventures for the 2004 vintage and two of the people who contributed quite frequently were Bob Henrick and OW Holmes, neither of whom make wine or grow grapes.
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Re: Forum for Winemaking/Viticulture?

Postby Howie Hart » Thu Jul 27, 2006 8:40 am

Paul B. wrote:With that, I cast my vote strongly in favour of such an addition and look forward to a renewal of viticultural and enological discussions.

Why does this not surprise me? :shock:
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Re: Forum for Winemaking/Viticulture?

Postby James Roscoe » Thu Jul 27, 2006 8:42 am

Paul B. wrote:Howie, I'm really glad you brought it up. Of course it will come as no surprise to you that I would be wholly in favour of such a separate forum, and if it's not too much of a burden to Robin, it would be GREAT to have it added as an extra forum on this site - the Netscape interface is simply not equal in user friendliness to what we have here.

With that, I cast my vote strongly in favour of such an addition and look forward to a renewal of viticultural and enological discussions.


I'm shocked! Shocked to find Paul in favor of ressurecting this forum. Go for it! I will lurk in the shadows.
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Re: Forum for Winemaking/Viticulture?

Postby Robin Garr » Thu Jul 27, 2006 8:54 am

Paul B. wrote:With that, I cast my vote strongly in favour of such an addition and look forward to a renewal of viticultural and enological discussions.


I'm not opposed, Paul, but for the sake of fact-finding and debate, let me ask an obvious question: Why can't - in fact, why <i>aren't</i> - such discussions happening in this forum right now? Wine making and viticulture are certainly on-topic.

My two primary concerns are a little bit contractictory: If it's a viable topic, will taking it out of WLDG weaken the breadth of discussion in WLDG? And if it's not a viable topic, where's the advantage in starting a weak, low-traffic forum?
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Re: Forum for Winemaking/Viticulture?

Postby Howie Hart » Thu Jul 27, 2006 9:19 am

Robin Garr wrote:Why can't - in fact, why <i>aren't</i> - such discussions happening in this forum right now? Wine making and viticulture are certainly on-topic.

My two primary concerns are a little bit contractictory: If it's a viable topic, will taking it out of WLDG weaken the breadth of discussion in WLDG? And if it's not a viable topic, where's the advantage in starting a weak, low-traffic forum?

I think such discussions may tend to get lost in the plethora of TNs. One could start a thread on a subject in "The Wine Forum" and within 2 days, if there's no other posts, it has fallen off the front page. When that happens the thread usually dies, as it becomes forgotten. Discourse on winemaking and viticulture may extend for longer periods, as research or observations are made. In addition, by having a separate forum, those who are only interested in what comes out of the bottle will not be bothered by a constant rising to the top of a discussion on tartrates or rootstock.
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Re: Forum for Winemaking/Viticulture?

Postby Gary Barlettano » Thu Jul 27, 2006 11:41 am

Howie Hart wrote:
Gary Barlettano wrote:I couldn't contribute, Howie, but I've love to lurk in such a forum.

Of course you could contribute! ...


Well, I do have one Eastern Concord and one Niagara vine each planted in its own pot on my deck. I could delve into the question of wine and pot, eh? :roll:
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Re: Forum for Winemaking/Viticulture?

Postby Paul B. » Thu Jul 27, 2006 12:06 pm

Robin Garr wrote:I'm not opposed, Paul, but for the sake of fact-finding and debate, let me ask an obvious question: Why can't - in fact, why <i>aren't</i> - such discussions happening in this forum right now? Wine making and viticulture are certainly on-topic.

I think that with a dedicated forum, one can delve strictly into the nitty-gritty of wine growing and winemaking, to the exclusion of TNs and such. It might not be a topic for most readers whose wine appreciation centres on collecting and consuming wine, but if you don't mind such topics being part of the main forum (and if people don't start complaining about them being part of the main forum), then I guess there should be no reason not to post them there. That said, it could be due to the layout at Netscape where we actually had separate fora for these topics, that I haven't really felt that there was an analogous set-up here.
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Re: Forum for Winemaking/Viticulture?

Postby Robin Garr » Thu Jul 27, 2006 12:25 pm

Paul B. wrote:That said, it could be due to the layout at Netscape where we actually had separate fora for these topics, that I haven't really felt that there was an analogous set-up here.


Thanks, Paul ... as I've said, I'm not opposed to the idea, I'd just like to hear input. We did set up a lot of separate sections on Netscape, a decision that I made pretty much on the fly just because the Netscape software made it easy, and I thought folks would like the tidy organization of having lots of folders. Instead, what I heard from most participants was that they missed having most of the wine discussion in one big, happy room. :) That was mostly about separating Wine Discussion, Wine FAQs and TNs, though. I do think you and Howie make a good point about technical wine-making and vine-growing topics making a stronger case for their own room so the threads won't get lost.

If I don't hear any serious objections today, I'll be glad to open this forum soon, but will count on you guys to make it busy. :twisted:
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Re: Forum for Winemaking/Viticulture?

Postby Bob Ross » Thu Jul 27, 2006 12:35 pm

Robin, I would vote for a separate Forum, primarily because of the way I use WLDG -- i.e. I click on the "View post since last visit" link. That way I get to see everything at least once.

But I remember the Winemaking Forum as one I enjoyed reading when I had more leisure. It's tough to find winemaking threads on WLDG.

Another possibility would be to tag all threads relating to winemaking with a search code: say WMF. In many ways, I personally prefer that approach because I really do like everything related to wine in one big smear.

Suggestion: let's try the WMF approach to see if that meets the needs of the winemakers.

Regards, Bob
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Re: Forum for Winemaking/Viticulture?

Postby Robin Garr » Thu Jul 27, 2006 1:26 pm

Bob Ross wrote:Suggestion: let's try the WMF approach to see if that meets the needs of the winemakers.


I wish I could feel more cooperative, Bob, but to me, the proliferation of obscure title prefixes would make WLDG more confusing, and I have a knee-jerk negative opinion about it.

Since Paul and Howie have made a good case for a separate forum, and since it would be easy to fold it back in to WLDG if it doesn't work out, I'm inclined to respect their suggestions.
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Re: Forum for Winemaking/Viticulture?

Postby Bob Ross » Thu Jul 27, 2006 1:33 pm

OK with me.
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Re: Forum for Winemaking/Viticulture?

Postby Dan Smothergill » Thu Jul 27, 2006 4:39 pm

I'm mixed on this one. The proliferation of folders on Netscape is still ringing in my ears I guess. More importantly, there just haven't been that many contributors to winemaking in the couple years that I've been here. Isolating ourselves certainly won't draw more people into our discussions. instead, we'll lose the eyes and comments of non-winemakers who occasionally join in.

Howie's point about it being less likely that threads would be buried after a day or so if they were in a separate section struck me at first as a grand slam. Then I thought, well, if few now respond to a winemaking thread, how many more will respond just because it stays longer on the front page of a separate section? If I'm at all representative, the handful of us interested in winemaking follow a thread pretty much wherever it appears. True, one that popped up on the front page probably would engender some more replies. But how many more? And would it be worth the costs? I'm not sure.
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Re: Forum for Winemaking/Viticulture?

Postby Howie Hart » Fri Aug 04, 2006 9:08 am

Well, after 14 posts in 2 days, this thread has fallen back to page 4 with no more posts in over a week. In the meantime, there have been at least 2 other threads dealing with Winemaking/Viticulture. These have led to spirited and informative discussions. Dan makes a good point whether having such posts in a separate section would generate any more interest. Although I think a separate forum would be cool, I currently believe that posting such topics in "The Wine Forum" is satisfactory. However, if a lot more posts on the subjects are generated, I may change my mind. I would expect more posts during the harvest/crush season starting next month.
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Re: Forum for Winemaking/Viticulture?

Postby Paul B. » Fri Aug 04, 2006 10:31 am

And, Howie, I think the discussion was good because it legitimizes winemaking threads in the general wine forum. I wasn't sure all this time whether they were kosher 'round here or not!
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Re: Forum for Winemaking/Viticulture?

Postby Alan A. » Fri Aug 04, 2006 11:41 am

As a new hobbyist home winemaker, I would like to see a separate winemaking/viticulture forum. I have 10 young vines (Concord, Niagara, Catawba) as well and plan to use the grapes to make wine (for experimental purposes only, of course. :wink:) I hope to expand my vineyardette with some Norton vines this winter/spring.
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Re: Forum for Winemaking/Viticulture?

Postby Paul B. » Fri Aug 04, 2006 11:44 am

Alan A. wrote:I have 10 young vines (Concord, Niagara, Catawba) as well and plan to use the grapes to make wine (for experimental purposes only, of course. :wink:) I hope to expand my vineyardette with some Norton vines this winter/spring.

Alan, you have definitely come to the right place. You will be in fine company, let me assure you. I have been making dry labrusca wines for the past five years and it is a labour of love. I also love Concord, Niagara and Catawba, and although Norton doesn't grow up here in the Province of Ontario, I am a wicked fan of the wine.

Again - welcome!!! I am really glad you made it here.
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Re: Forum for Winemaking/Viticulture?

Postby Robin Garr » Fri Aug 04, 2006 11:58 am

Howie Hart wrote:Well, after 14 posts in 2 days, this thread has fallen back to page 4 with no more posts in over a week. In the meantime, there have been at least 2 other threads dealing with Winemaking/Viticulture. These have led to spirited and informative discussions. Dan makes a good point whether having such posts in a separate section would generate any more interest. Although I think a separate forum would be cool, I currently believe that posting such topics in "The Wine Forum" is satisfactory. However, if a lot more posts on the subjects are generated, I may change my mind. I would expect more posts during the harvest/crush season starting next month.


Howie, I thought Dan's argument in favor of keeping the threads integrated was persuasive.

My suggestion: Let's keep things as they are <i>for now</i>, but let's consider the topic open for re-visitation at any time. You guys please feel free to post vine-growing and wine-making topics - don't hold back. And let's be conscious of the effects. If the wine geeks start complaing about "too much wine-making," or if you guys find the fast-scroll-to-death situation is a real issue, we'll take another look. As I've been saying all along, creating another forum is easy, but it does tend to "ghettoize" the topic.
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Re: Forum for Winemaking/Viticulture?

Postby Gary Barlettano » Fri Aug 04, 2006 12:03 pm

Well, Howie, like I said in beginning, I would enjoy lurking in a separate forum, but since I know even less about viticulture than I do about wine itself, I would have a hearty portion of nothing to contribute except for questions. I do note that at this writing this thread has gotten 845 views which is a good indicator of interest.

Just keep bringing up those viticulture topics. These kinds of things develop organically.

Just by way of comparison, it looks like most folks crowd into the wine and food forums here. The wine related travel forum, for instance, does not seem to draw as much attention and I've seen many a nice topic die on the vine there perhaps because the bulk of our compadres just don't have the time or the muse to read every single post everywhere. You might be better off leaving the viticulture in the wine forum where people will see it more quickly.
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Re: Forum for Winemaking/Viticulture?

Postby Dan Smothergill » Fri Aug 04, 2006 3:16 pm

I have 10 young vines (Concord, Niagara, Catawba) as well and plan to use the grapes to make wine (for experimental purposes only, of course.


I didn't notice this before Alan. Good luck from a fellow small vineyardist.
Have you done any pruning yet? I'm getting very few grapes from my 3-yr. old Steubens (see thread Many Leaves and Vines/Few Grapes). Paul suggests that it may because the generic advice about pruning isn't appropriate for Labrusca-type vines. Longer canes need to be left.
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Re: Forum for Winemaking/Viticulture?

Postby Alan A. » Fri Aug 04, 2006 4:36 pm

I have 1 year and 2 year old vines. I'm still coaxing a few of the two year old vines (the catawba) to the top of my trellis. Last summer we had a long dry spell that set the catawba way back. I started "babying" the vines this summer to make sure that all of them get to the top of my trellis system. Unfortunately I didn't do any research when I built my trellis for the first vines I planted. I used dog wire fencing between posts. This winter I plan on replacing the dog fencing with a two wire system. Live and learn.
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Re: Forum for Winemaking/Viticulture?

Postby Dan Smothergill » Fri Aug 04, 2006 10:45 pm

Might it be possible to have messages about winemaking and viticulture appear in both the regular forum and in a separate Winemaker/Viticulture section as Howie has suggested? This would serve both worlds. Messages would be brought to the attention of the general audience and, in the separate section, be kept alive for the afficianados. Perhaps a special notation could be attached to messages in the regular forum indicating that they also appear in the separate section. Whether the technology would support such a thing I have no idea.
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